I’m sure most of us have been on the receiving end of poor customer service or purchased a product that was faulty. There are a lot of examples in the media where businesses have failed to meet their customer’s expectations.  Believe it or not, customer complaints can be a good thing for your business, here’s why:

It might be confusing to the customer when a company boasts about the quality of their product or service, but when you have a problem with it, they go quiet or avoid you like the plague. A good business will welcome feedback from their customers, positive or otherwise and have a process in place to deal with this feedback.  Letting a company know that you have received a product or service that failed to meet your expectations is a good thing:

  • It provides the company with timely data regarding their quality or service, they can measure their success based on feedback from customers.
  • It can help identify a problem with their systems or processes that they may not be aware of.
  • The problem might be intermittent, which makes it more difficult to identify during quality checks (therefore, you may be the only customer with 8 pages missing from a book you just purchased – yes that has happened to me this week and I have notified them).
  • Sometimes the issue can be with the company’s suppliers/outsourced logistics or staff and the feedback you provide can help the company identify the root cause and put corrective actions in place.
  • Everyone makes mistakes, it’s how a business deals with them that’s important.
  • It’s not personal.

If there is a genuine problem (“I bought this item 5 years ago but now I don’t like it” would not be considered genuine) most reputable businesses like to know about them.  It helps them to resolve issues, improve their service and gives the customer a voice.

One of my pet peeves is poor customer service.  I have been on the receiving end too many times to mention.  On the positive side, these experiences have provided my friends with hours of entertainment but I won’t go into that now. The way I look at it when I’m out and about is, if this was my shop or business and my employees were providing poor service, or there was a broken glass on the shelf I’d like to know about it, so it can be put right.

With all the competition out there now, I think businesses can’t be complacent, not only will the customer go elsewhere and take their money with them, but the business reputation is on the line and that is something they can’t afford to let happen.

I can talk about this subject all day but suffice to say, without customers, you have no business!  A good customer feedback loop is important as well as taking corrective action.

To balance the scales, it’s also good to let a business know when they are providing great products or services too. I do this if I receive excellent customer service, I’ll always take the employees name and tell/email their Manager to let them know what their staff did to make my experience with their company a great one.

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